After pausing to recover from an illness and to draw the Harry Potter paperback covers, Kibushi returns with the anxiously awaited book six in his Amulet series.
Plunging in where volume five left off, Amulet #6: Escape From Lucien immediately throws the reader into the action with no recapping of where the story left off. Our heroine, Emily, is established as a leader in the fight against the Elf King. She is on Lucien, helping the citizens escape the Shadows who plague the city. Her younger brother Navin, while supposedly fulfilling a prophecy about a child pilot prodigy, is stuck in flight school and not doing very well. As Navin struggles to find his place in this conflict, the Elf King is plotting his next move. The action is nonstop and multiple plotlines are being juggled at once. Many new facts are revealed, but no stories are resolved.
While Kibushi clearly seems to know where he is going with this story, it is not always evident to the reader. Its easy to start feeling frustrated as one plot line lies dormant for a while. You want to know everything, right now! This volume really brings home that the story is about more than Emily, Navin, and coming of age. It is about good, evil, and shades of grey. It is about finding yourself swept up in the larger world where not every scene has you in it.
There are so many different stories to follow, with new storylines and new characters continuing to be introduced. In general, this volume felt like one big set-up for the next volume, not that this is necessarily a bad thing. It is always a dilemma for an artist to reveal all the information the reader needs in the most compelling way possible. It is more a comment that this book does not stand alone. The series is wonderfully complex and weaves in elements from many types of fantasy in a perfect mesh of a story. Just start reading the series from the beginning. Readers who know the series will want to re-read book five before picking this one up (there was a two year gap between the books).
Kibushi is a gifted artist and the lushness of his scenes often carry the day. A large two-page spread showing an air battle does more to convey the perilousness of our heroes’ situation than would a page of text. The art definitely has a voice of its own, speaking volumes about the world of the Stone Keepers, without a single word from the characters. The characters are all distinct from one another, a fact I appreciate as the cast of characters continues to grow.
This series continues to achieve excellence and is a great addition to any library, home or public.
Amulet #6: Escape from Lucien
by Kazu Kibuishi
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12